At its central headquarters in Fröndenberg an der Ruhr, HONSEL Umformtechnik GmbH has built a new production facility including a connected logistics section. There, the finished products are temporarily stored and prepared for shipping on an order-by-order basis. Synchronized communication and interaction between the ERP and warehouse management software (WMS) ensures inventory and process reliability in daily operations. At the same time, by implementing the goods-to-person principle, it was possible to achieve a high picking performance with a reduced workload.
Products made of wire – in highest precision. This is achieved by cold forming, a production process that the traditional Fröndenberg company has continuously refined in its more than 90-year history. The HONSEL Group currently has around 300 employees worldwide. They are all united by the goal of maintaining the defined quality standard at the highest level. New building as an opportunity to restructure finished goods logistics.
In view of the constant growth in demand, HONSEL is constantly investing in capacity expansions at the operational level. The latest coup is the so-called “Plant 3”, which was built at the headquarters in Fröndenberg/Ruhr and started operations at the beginning of 2019. “In order to relieve our staff of long walking distances and search processes and at the same time to be able to operate more efficiently, we decided to introduce the goods-to-person process at the intralogistics level,” says Thomas Kleinert, head of operational logistics. Standard software supplemented by individual applications.
The choice fell on pL-Store from proLogistik, a standardized warehouse management system with integrated material flow control. The project started at the end of June 2018 with a kickoff on site in Fröndenberg. On the one hand, this concerned the conveyor connection for the purpose of realizing the goods-to-person approach, but also the goods receipt from production, including the optoelectronic 100 % quality control that is standard at HONSEL.
The pL store warehouse management system already has a standardized integration component via which it has been linked to the higher-level ERP system of the partner proALPHA that is in use. With “iGo pilot navigation”, the device also has an assistance system that guarantees driving safety even at high speeds and is used for navigation in the warehouse.
Only plastic pallets are used as load carriers, which are equipped with both containers and cartons. They are fed from the production line, placed on a storage spur and deposited on the storage/retrieval spur via the conveyor system with the aid of the transverse transfer car. The warehouse management software transmits a transfer order, the narrow aisle truck picks up the pallet and stores it according to the instruction. In the two racking aisles, around 1,300 bays managed by the warehouse management system have been set up.
The outsourcing process is similar. Goods requested for order-related picking are provided pallet by pallet by the transverse transfer carriage at one of the two picking stitches. The pick area comprises six pallet positions, three of which are to be handled by one worker at a time. The orders are uploaded to the handheld device. As a result, he assembles the requested small load carriers. Only full KLTs are removed from the pallet; there is no breakage.
To ensure that the correct article is always picked, the KLT label is counter-scanned. The article number and batch are checked. After each pick, the quantity is reported back to proALPHA and the ERP system generates the corresponding shipping labels. Following picking, the employee receives the message “Pallet is being removed”. If there are still goods on the pallet, the transverse transfer car takes over again and transports them to the storage stitch in the apron of the narrow aisle warehouse. Empty load carriers are removed from the picking stitch.
Solid hardware for specific requirements
The WE hand trolley is also characterized by swivel castors, a parking brake, an integrated cable duct and storage areas. The battery box has the advantage that the hand cart can be used independently of the mains.
Quality standards also met in logistics
One of the guiding principles of HONSEL Umformtechnik GmbH is: “We work for our customers – Optimal technical development support, highest productivity and on-time deliveries are our top priority.” With the new Plant 3, the company once again underpins this maxim. The warehouse management system from proLogistik, which could be transferred to live operation within a few months after the kickoff meeting, creates transparency throughout and enables an overview of the entire material flow.
“The quality in the area of logistics could be increased significantly. This circumstance has a direct impact on the level of service, which we are continuously improving for the benefit of our customers.” Further advantages are opened up by the software-supported perpetual inventory, which enables stock to be recorded and updated without time restrictions during ongoing operations.